New Year 2017 greetings from the Ecole St. Louis in Privas, twinned with St. Joseph’s, Wetherby
A short video of Year 6 children from the Ecole St. Louis in Privas (partnered with St. Joseph’s, Wetherby) singing a carol in English.
The link between Crossley Street School and the Ecole Rene Cassin continues to thrive. St. Joseph’s School is now fully linked with the Ecole St. Louis in Privas and it is likely that a group of French pupils may visit us next year, providing funding and appropriate accommodation can be found.
The Chairman, Cindy Bentley, visited Year 5/6 pupils at St. Joseph’s at the end of the summer term to talk to them about Privas and its history. She received a very enthusiastic reception from the children and spent an hour showing slides and discussing the differences between France and the UK.
The links between Crossley Street School and the Ecole Rene Cassin in Privas continue to thrive with regular exchanges of work between the children.
St. Joseph’s School in Wetherby is now a full member of the Wetherby Twinning Association and is in the process of forging links with the Ecole St. Louis in Privas.
Hello from Saint Louis: les élèves de CM2 se présentent:
The Year 6 pupils introduce themselves:
Epiphanie / Epiphany:
Recette : la Galette des Rois
Recipe of the “Kings’ Cake”:
Chanson / Song: “J’aime la Galette”
Students from Wetherby High School’s partner, the College Bernard de Vendadour in Privas, arrived to spend a week with us in March. Thanks to the Civic Society for organizing guided walks round the town for them. This was followed by an official reception by the Mayor and a quiz and picnic lunch organized by the Twinning Association. The weather during their stay was not exactly wonderful, but they all seemed to enjoy themselves in spite of it. Students from the High School spent a week in Privas at the beginning of April. Thanks are due to Saida Belkhadir and Chris Patchett at WHS for making such a success of this exchange.
A second exchange took place in March/April between students from Wetherby High School and their partner school in Privas. This time, the English students did the first leg of the exchange and, in spite of some terrible weather, had a wonderful time in Privas. They all seemed to get on really well with their hosts and the visit was deemed to be a great success.
30 French students came to Wetherby with 3 members of staff in April. They visited Fountains Abbey, Harrogate, York and Whitby and spent a weekend with their host family. They had an official welcome at Wetherby Town Hall by the Town Mayor and did a guided walk round the town with members of Wetherby Civic Society.
We all hope that a third exchange will take place next year.
In October, a Maths teacher from Privas, Christine Rousselle, spent 2 weeks at Wetherby High School. She is currently teaching Maths in English rather than French and wanted to see how it’s done in the UK. We were delighted to see her at our Call My Wine Bluff when her knowledge of French wine was extremely useful.
A second junior school in Privas has expressed an interest in linking with a partner school in Wetherby. The Headteacher of St. Joseph’s is interested in pursuing the possibility, so it’s fingers crossed that we can work something out.
Lots of news for 2012. Firstly, Wetherby High School has joined the Twinning Association and has already made contact with a partner in Privas. A group of 29 students from Wetherby will be visiting Privas in March and their opposite numbers will arrive in Wetherby on April 30th, leaving on May 8th. It is the first time for many years that an exchange between Wetherby and Privas schools has taken place and it highly appropriate that one should happen in the 20th year of our twinning link.
Following on from her highly successful visit to the Ecole Rene Cassin in Privas in July 2011, Mrs. Clynes, the Headteacher of Crossley Street School, will welcome a teacher from Privas to Wetherby in mid-April. They will work together on joint projects and it will be interesting to see what develops from the visit.
Crossley Street has a French “assistante” this year. She helped staff put on a wonderful French Nativity play before Christmas – the children spoke their lines and sang in French with real enthusiasm. Having a native speaker in the school makes learning the language a lot more fun. Angadreme has been helping out in all sorts of ways.
Crossley Street children have also produced a magnificent collage, comparing life in Privas and Wetherby. Even the youngest children in the nursery participated in the project. It really is a superb piece of work of which the school is justifiably proud. We are hoping to have it on display for the Jubilee weekend in June when we receive the official delegation from Privas.
On Saturday 18th June two intrepid explorers, Carole Wood, acting as interpreter and chief photographer and Sandra Clynes, head teacher at Crossley Street Primary School, set off on an expedition to Privas in the Ardeche.
The journey began very early in the morning and started with a train to Kings Cross from Leeds followed by a quick sprint to St Pancras and away on the Euro tunnel to Lille. We then caught the TGV to Valence and were delighted to have seats on the upper deck so that we could really appreciate the changing landscape. We were met at Valence by our host Mark and whisked straight to their home for a beautiful family meal that went on for hours and included many courses with the most wonderful goat’s cheese.
On Sunday we were shown round the area visiting many of the breath taking landmarks including the famous arch, the volcanic plugs and local chateaus. We had a very long lunch of suckling pig and in the evening attended a piano recital by one of the ex students of Evelyn’s music school. It was quite magical. Again another wonderful meal followed with wine and cheese in plenty.
Monday was a highlight of the visit for me as I spent the day at Rene Cassin School meeting the staff and pupils and learning about the French way of teaching and learning. It is certainly very different to English education and we were able to discuss assessment, the curriculum and of course Ofsted and inspection procedures. The pupils were a delight and Carole and I were able to help them with an English lesson and do some singing and some Maths, the mental arithmetic really kept us on our toes. The following day I returned to the school and gave the children letters and gifts that Crossley Street pupils had made. I am really looking forward to showing Evelyn round my school and sharing our systems and procedures with her. We had in depth discussions about education and were able to pick the best from both England and France. I think left to Evelyn and I we could really sort out the problems in education in both countries!
We spent the remainder of the day shopping and of course eating a hearty lunch and then spending a wonderful afternoon in the mountains finding the source of the River Rhone. In the evening we spent time at a music festival in Privas where the whole town turned out to sing and play musical instruments including some of the pupils from Rene Cassin school. It was another very late night followed by a very early start the next day to get the 8am train from Valence which we only just caught, luckily the train had been delayed!
It was a wonderful visit and it was a privilege to meet so many kind and caring people who took hospitality to another dimension. I know this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership between both schools where our children can learn about each other’s lives and traditions and hopefully we can extend the philosophy of twinning to a new, younger generation. Unfortunately, as I said to Carole, I don’t think I can return to Privas because I put so much weight on but then again perhaps I could be persuaded!
Two of our primary/junior schools in Wetherby are corporate members of the Twinning Association and are now successfully twinned with schools in Privas - Crossley Street School is twinned with the Ecole St. Joseph and Deighton Gates School with the Ecole Rene Cassin. Both of the Wetherby schools teach French and are keen to expand the link with their French counterpart. Initially, contact between pupils will be primarily through email, but the schools hope eventually to do exchanges.
In April 2009, a teacher from Rene Cassin visited Wetherby and met the Head Teacher at Deighton Gates with a view to carrying out joint projects. She visited a number of local attractions and her energy and enthusiasm for the link was infectious. As the government's Primary French programme gets under way, we hope that our remaining two primary schools will participate in the link with Privas.
Two students from the Lycee Vincent d'Indy in Privas have just completed a six-week work placement in Wetherby as part of the EU Erasmus programme, one at a local hotel and the other in the school office at Deighton Gates School. Both stayed with local families and agreed that their stay was both enjoyable and rewarding. One of the students was from Mayotte (a French TOM or territoire d'outre-mer).
Evelyne Levy is a very special kind of lady who is never happier than when she’s helping youngsters to explore the culture a new country. Her “day” job is as a primary school teacher in Privas – our twin town.
Every year she organises a 5 day visit (by coach) for her pupils to Weilburg which is another of Privas Twin Towns. Weilburg is in a beautiful part of South West Germany; has a medieval town centre, complete with castle, all situated on top of a hill surrounded by a loop in the river Lahn. There’s a beautiful historic bridge in keeping with Privas twinning tradition and the new town nestles in the valley around the central hill.
This year I was incredibly fortunate to be invited by Evelyne to join her on this year’s visit to Weilburg in May. As is normal, the youngsters were all staying in the youth hostel just outside the town. When I was taken up to hostel to meet them all, the visitors were “letting off steam” after a 12 hour coach journey. Evelyne, as always, was working quietly to organise them & to persuade them to settle for the night.
As always with Twinning, the visit was packed full of interesting things to see & do. These included an official welcome from the mayor – with gifts for all the children. There was also time spent in one of the primary schools where both French & German youngsters prepared a typical German breakfast brunch for everyone. The highlight of this visit was a sing along session when everyone learned & sang traditional, action-packed, folk songs – Evelyne cleverly switching from French to German & back again. I’m sure that by the end of the session, the youngsters didn’t know which language they were singing!
Other visits included an afternoon in the local zoo, a visit to an outdoor Heritage Centre (similar to Beamish) and a morning in one of the many spa water bottling factories. Yes, Weilburg has several spa springs in the area too. The noise inside the factory was tremendous; I’d been given the unenviable task of taking one of the groups of children around the factory with their guide. Translating from technical German to simple French that the youngsters would understand was quite a challenge! My head ached by the time the visit came to an end; the youngsters leaving with yet more gifts as mementos of their time in Weilburg.
All in all, it was a fascinating 5 days & now I’m looking forward to helping to organise something similar for us. This remarkable lady, Evelyne, is also working to establish links between her school & Deighton Bar Primary School here – the future of Twinning for Wetherby. So watch this space for news of “young” Twinners either here in Wetherby or our “young” Twinners enjoying the delights of Privas hospitality.
Carole Avison Wood